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Journal American Rhododendron Society

Current Editor:
Dr. Glen Jamieson ars.editor@gmail.com


Volume 25, Number 1
January 1971

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Our Front Cover
R. cinnabarinum var. blandfordiaeflorum
P. H. Brydon, Salem Oregon

        This variety of R. cinnabarinum has been so named because of the striking resemblance of its flowers to those of the genus Blandfordia, a liliaceous bulb native to Australia. The plant illustrated on the cover was grown from seed obtained from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and flowered in eight years from time of sowing. Most cinnabarinums are hardy to zero and require open woodland conditions with protection from strong winds. They become open shrubs eventually reaching a height of 15 ft. and require frequent "pinching" as young plants to form a sturdy framework for the mature plant, otherwise they tend to become leggy and sometimes require support. This character can be put to advantage if the grower wants to espalier the plant against a shaded wall or train it around and over a stump. In R. cinnabarinum var. blandfordiaeflorum the individual flowers are 2 inches long and 1½ inches wide, rather waxy and of excellent substance. The glaucous leaves, 3 inches long and 1¾ inches wide, offer a pleasant relief to species and hybrids with larger and more somber foliage. It is native to Nepal, Sikkim and occurs at altitudes of 10,000-12,000 ft. The late Mr. Francis Hanger, former Director of the R. H. S. Gardens at Wisley chose this variety as one of his five favorite species. It may be of interest to our members to note that his selection was as follows. R. yakushimanum, R. macabeanum, R. thomsonii, R. augustinii, and R. cinnabarinum var. blandfordiaeflorum.